The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the curative petition of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon in connection with his death penalty and ruled that there will be no stay on his execution scheduled to take place on 30 July. According to reports, he will, in all probability, be hanged at 7 am on Thursday.
The apex court said there was no "legal fallacy" in the issuance of death warrant by the TADA court in Mumbai on 30 April scheduling Yakub's execution for Thursday in Nagpur, the day he turns 53.
"The issuance of death warrant is in order and we do not find any kind of legal fallacy," a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Prafulla C Pant and Amitava Roy said.
"Issuance of death warrant by the TADA court of April 30 cannot be faulted," the bench said, adding "in the result, the writ petition (filed by Memon) sans merit and stands dismissed."
The bench said the dismissal of curative petition by the senior most judges of the Supreme Court was correct.
"In view of that we conclude that the curative petition decided by the three senior most judges cannot be faulted," the bench said, adding that it was not inclined to go into the issue of second mercy petition filed by Memon before the Maharashtra government after the dismissal of his curative petition on 21 July.
The bench rejected the contention of Memon that all legal remedies were not exhausted including the issue of clemency, saying the President had rejected his mercy petition on 11 April, 2014 which was communicated to him on 26 May, 2014.
"After the first mercy petition was rejected he did not challenge it and on July 22, 2015, after rejection of his curative petition he filed the second mercy petition. However, how the second mercy petition is going to be dealt with, we are not inclined to go," the bench said.
The bench also rejected Memon's plea that death warrant was issued without hearing him and a mandatory 14 days time frame was not granted in informing him about the date of execution after the rejection of mercy petition.
Special Public Prosecutor in the TADA court, Ujjwal Nikam said that Memon's future now depended on the mercy pleas pending before the Maharashtra Governor and the President of India.
However, soon after Nikam addressed the media, TV reports said that the Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao had rejected Memon's mercy plea.
Now, the only mercy petition pending is the one filed by Memon to the President of India.
A three-judge bench had been set up on Tuesday in the Supreme Court to decide the fate of Yakub Memon, the lone death row convict in 1993 blasts case, after a two-judge bench was divided on his plea seeking stay of his execution scheduled on 30 July.
In the wake of disagreement between Justices AR Dave and Kurian Joseph on the issue, the matter was referred to Chief Justice of India HL Dattu, who constituted a larger bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Prafulla C Pant and Amitava Roy to decide the destiny of Memon, who will turn 53 on Thursday.
Earlier on Wednesday, the bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, had said it will pronounce the order today itself.
Senior advocate Raju Ramachndran, appearing for Memon, had initiated arguments by referring to the separate, divergent orders passed by Justice AR Dave and Justice Kurian Joseph on Tuesday and had said that the procedures established by the law have not been followed while deciding the curative petition of the convict.
Ramachandran had said, "The judges, who were part of judicial process earlier, must be party to curative petition. It cannot be decided by judges who are strangers to the matters."
He had further said that besides the three senior most judges, the curative petition should have been circulated to the judges, if available, who had decided the criminal appeal and the review petition.
(With inputs from PTI)
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Updated Date: Jul 29, 2015 17:28:07 IST